Over the past 60 years or so, the small Westmoreland County borough of North Irwin has been watched over by Bernard "Bernie" Reynolds.
After he returned from serving in the Navy in the early 1950s, there was little work to be had, and North Irwin needed a policeman, according to his wife, Agnes.
"Kids were getting a little loud, so he became a policeman for 75 cents an hour," she said. He served first as an officer, and then as chief, for nearly 50 years, also working in the street department, patching roads and clearing snow. After that, he continued to serve the borough as a councilman.
Mr. Reynolds died on Thursday of an apparent heart attack in his borough office, Mrs. Reynolds said. He was 80.
North Irwin council president Kim Macalus, who grew up in the borough, said Mr. Reynolds "always wanted to do right by the people."
She said he would hold his keys to prevent them from jingling so he could sneak up on misbehaving children.
"When we were kids, you couldn't run from him, because he would catch you," she said.
Ms. Macalus said Mr. Reynolds was "a fixture" in the community.
"We're just sad," she said. "The entire community is just very sad.
"He truly died doing exactly what he wanted to do, and exactly in the place that I think he wanted to go, as odd as that may seem."
During the last three months of his life, he took over running the street department after Ms. Macalus asked him to help out. She said he was in the borough building every day for those three months, "and everything has been roses and posies."
Mrs. Reynolds was not surprised that the department was running well.
"He'd pitch right in, and of course he was teaching them how to do things right," she said. "I'd give him heck, and he'd come home very tired."
Mr. Reynolds was well-known for his vigilant snow removal efforts during the winter months.
"You could always count on North Irwin's streets being clear when he was in charge," Ms. Macalus said.
Mrs. Reynolds said he was sometimes "too conscientious."
"He drove me nuts, going out, checking the streets in the middle of the night," she said. "A lot of times, he had to walk down to the garage and get the truck out, if it was too icy to drive down."
Irwin Mayor Dan Rose, one of Mr. Reynolds' longtime friends, said he was "committed to North Irwin Borough, and the citizens. He loved his country."
He said some might not even be aware of the positive effect Mr. Reynolds had on the community.
Once, someone dumped a can of beets on a North Irwin woman's white sedan. When the woman called to report the incident, Mr. Reynolds came over and washed the beet stains off of the car.
"I respected him very much," Mr. Rose said. "He was always doing something."
Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds graduated from North Huntingdon High School in 1951 and married two years later. They celebrated their 60th anniversary in March. On top of his work in the borough, he also worked at Westinghouse Electric in East Pittsburgh, Mrs. Reynolds said.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Reynolds is survived by his daughter, Vicki Lauffer; a brother, Joseph Reynolds; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be private. Memorial donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church, 310 Oak St., Irwin, PA 15642.
Annie Siebert: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1613, or Twitter: @AnnieSiebert.